For those still keeping count, Walt Disney and Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame earned another $2 million (-47% from last Wednesday), bringing is 27-day domestic cume to $779.44 million. It’ll presumably end its fourth week with $781 million and end Memorial Day weekend (either Sunday or Monday) above the $800 million domestic milestone. That’ll also put it above the inflation-adjusted total of Raiders of the Lost Ark ($797 million, counting reissues) and just below the $803 million adjusted cumes of The Sting ($156 million in 1973) and The Lion King (counting all the reissues). Next up will be the $814 million inflation-adjusted total (counting the 3-D reissue in 2012) of Star Wars – Episode One: The Phantom Menace.
At that point, Avengers: Endgame will be in 18th place in terms of domestic tickets sold. If it follows to form like Infinity War, Endgame will have another week (partially thanks to the Memorial Day weekend holiday) of daily grosses above $1 million. That said, if Aladdin performs better than anticipated, well, we’ll see. That’s the big question, in terms of A how Aladdin will play out this weekend and B) how Aladdin’s reception, for better or worse, will affect the other Disney mega-movie in the marketplace. As noted yesterday, we’ve seen a flurry of “same-studio” releases do well even when released almost concurrently.
Universal’s Blockers ($61 million) and Truth or Dare ($41 million) both did fine opening a week apart, as did Warner Bros.’ The Meg ($145 million) and Crazy Rich Asians ($175 million) last August with just five days in between them. And, yes, Disney’s summer 2018 slate did about as well as could be expected, even with Avengers: Infinity War ($679 million), Solo ($214 million), Incredibles 2 ($604 million) and Ant-Man and the Wasp ($216 million) opening within essentially ten weeks of each other. That said, had things been as they are now back then, then Fox’s Deadpool 2 ($318 million, not counting Once Upon a Deadpool) would have been a Disney release as well.
As tempting as it is to presume that a studio may hurt itself on a movie-by-movie basis by releasing a bunch of big movies within the same space, that might not be the case. As long as the movies in question are different enough from each other, and I would argue that Aladdin is different enough from Avengers: Endgame, then perhaps both can prosper and the newer movie can “lift” the older one. That’s encouraging for Warner Bros., which has two very expensive Legendary releases (Detective Pikachu and Godzilla: King of the Monsters) opening within 21 days of each other.
Ditto, I suppose, for Universal’s $5 million Ma (opening next weekend) and Illumination’s (presumably) $75 million-to-$90 million Secret Life of Pets 2 opening on June 7. I’m going to go out on a limb and presume that the demographics for those two don’t entirely overlap. That said, there may be a downside to a studio now as huge as Disney being able to essentially throw out one big release after another with little damage to any individual releases. There will be that much more incentive to try to overwhelm their competition with one mega-movie after another if they know the risk to each individual movie is limited.
That said, it could mean that it is beneficial for all studios, be it WB, Disney, Universal or Lionsgate, to make that much more of an effort to diversify their slate so that they can release movies closer to each other. If Warner Bros. can score best-case-scenario domestic box office with The Meg and Crazy Rich Asians, or if there is enough of an audience for Venom, A Star is Born and Halloween within the same month, then it’ll just make it more worthwhile to make sure that every newbie isn’t just a big-budget superhero movie, a high concept horror movie or a live-action musical.
We’ll know by the end of the weekend if Avengers: Endgame is going to pass Avatar in the worldwide box office, to the extent that it matters. Of course, if Disney really wants to continue rule after next year, they should make sure at least one of their upcoming MCU movies (Doctor Strange 2, perhaps?) is a live-action, horror-infused superhero musical!